Wednesday, June 13, 2012

illegal conversions of LWCF parks

An MSNBC article posted this week gives us a vivid picture of what sort of bullet we managed to dodge in our efforts to protect Kah Tai. Parks created with LWCF funds have been illegally converted all over the US.

The most effective tool that NPS has in the effort to protect parks created with LWCF funds is an interested and vigilant public that requires local governments to honor their commitments. NPS can apply penalties to local governments that illegally convert parks, but it still is a matter of asking forgiveness and not permission if the damage is already done. If Kah Tai was converted, the City and Port would be required to provide replacement land elsewhere with the same citizen access and habitat value.

We have wildlife habitat that has taken nearly 50 years to develop after the dredge spoils were dumped in 1964. That habitat has been fostered with considerable citizen effort since park creation in 1981. Kah Tai is unique. It is irreplaceable.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

conflict averted, for now

This cartoon from The Atlantic magazine, September 2010, has been perched quietly in the computer, waiting to be Photoshopped a little and posted. It just needed a label on that awning and some greenery along the path and it would have represented a future we dreaded for Kah Tai. Perhaps the street signs could have been labeled 'Hell' and 'High Water'. There's no telling what is ahead for Kah Tai, but it is likely it won't look like this in our lifetimes, now that the Port and City have a swap in the works.

A new article in the science journal Nature speculates, with considerable supporting data, that loss of biodiversity is increasingly likely to be a tipping point for irreversible change in the coming years. A diverse ecosystem is far better suited to respond to rapidly changing conditions. When we're down to urban habitat fit only for pigeons and English sparrows, we won't stand much of a chance at survival. Our own little urban habitat at Kah Tai boasts nearly 100 documented daylight bird species. Native plant species increase in number and diversity with diligent effort by many concerned citizens. It is our own small contribution to a buffer for the ecosystem at large.